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What is "tactile feedback" in a touchscreen phone?

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Theo Haffey Donating Member (41 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-11 11:01 AM
Original message
What is "tactile feedback" in a touchscreen phone?
I was reading that adding "tactile feedback" to touchscreens in cell phones makes typing easier, but the article did not explain what that is and I can't find it in google. What is it? Thanks.
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TlalocW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-11 11:05 AM
Response to Original message
1. When you're pressing the various icons
Or typing on the screen, it vibrates (very short vibration) with each touch. Supposed to let you know that you successfully punched something.

TlalocW
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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-11 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Yes.. and I can't wait until it becomes common place...
Damn, it makes you miss "true" keyboards and typewriters, trying to punch out any kind of message on a cell phone... That said, I do love all the other technological advances that iphone and others have brought us. ;)
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-11 11:06 AM
Response to Original message
2. "Tactile feedback" is feedback through your sense of touch.
Edited on Thu Jul-14-11 11:13 AM by Tesha
When you press a button in the real world, the button moves
and your fingers can sense that. Plus, many buttons provide
an "over-center" mechanism where once you've pressed them
far enough, they rapidly fall all the way with a click-like feel.
(Mouse buttons are like that.)

"Tactile feedback" on a phone tries to simulate that feeling of
"over-center clicking" as your finger presses the (mostly) non-
moving touchscreen. As the previous poster mentioned, it's
commonly done by briefly running the "vibrate" motor, but
folks have also experimented with using a piezoelectric "kicker"
attached to the glass of the touchscreen.

Some experiments have also been done to produce tactile
sensations as you swipe among the virtual buttons/keys on
the touchscreen. Done well, this is said to create the illusion
of raised key edges but I've never experienced this first-hand
so I can't day how well it works.

Tesha

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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-11 12:09 PM
Response to Original message
4. Also called "haptic feedback"
http://www.mobileburn.com/definition.jsp?term=haptics

Definition of "haptic feedback"

Haptic feedback, often referred to as simply "haptics", is the use of the sense of touch in a user interface design to provide information to an end user. When referring to mobile phones and similar devices, this generally means the use of vibrations from the device's vibration alarm to denote that a touchscreen button has been pressed. In this particular example, the phone would vibrate slightly in response to the user's activation of an on-screen control, making up for the lack of a normal tactile response that the user would experience when pressing a physical button. The resistive force that some "force feedback" joysticks and video game steering wheels provide is another form of haptic feedback.

Also known as: "haptics"

Wikipedia has much more info if you're interested:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haptic_technology

<snip>

One of the earliest forms of haptic devices is used in large modern aircraft that use servomechanism systems to operate control systems. Such systems tend to be "one-way" in that forces applied aerodynamically to the control surfaces are not perceived at the controls, with the missing normal forces simulated with springs and weights. In earlier, lighter aircraft without servo systems, as the aircraft approached a stall the aerodynamic buffeting was felt in the pilot's controls, a useful warning to the pilot of a dangerous flight condition. This control shake is not felt when servo control systems are used. To replace this missing cue, the angle of attack is measured, and when it approaches the critical stall point a "stick shaker" (an unbalanced rotating mass) is engaged, simulating the effects of a simpler control system. This is known as haptic feedback. Alternatively the servo force may be measured and this signal directed to a servo system on the control. This method is known as force feedback. Force feedback has been implemented experimentally in some excavators. This is useful when excavating mixed materials such as large rocks embedded in silt or clay, as it allows the operator to "feel" and work around unseen obstacles, enabling significant increases in productivity.

<snip>

1 History
2 Current applications
2.1 Teleoperators and simulators
2.2 Computer and video games
2.3 Personal Computers
2.4 Mobile consumer technologies
2.5 Haptics in virtual reality
2.6 Research
2.7 Medicine
2.8 Robotics
2.9 Arts and design
2.10 Actuators
3 Future applications
3.1 Holographic interaction
3.2 Future medical applications
4 See also
5 Notes
6 References
7 External links

<snip>
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